Houston Journalism REVIE pay raises for legislators and would doubtlessly have felt more sympathy for the afflicted if the delegates’ petition asking for the increase had not mysteriously disappeared, leaving all the sports fans to wonder just who had requested the pay raise. Joel Smith of KPRC-TV acquired a lovely interview with Rep. Frank Gaston of Dallas who tried to explain how he would spend $2,200 a month. He was last heard vaguely claiming that his laundry would come to $500. On another level, there was some concern that the pay raise, accomplished in this semi-sneaky fashion, would so anger the voters that it would turn them against the new constitution. SUBSTANTIVELY speaking, there was high praise for the work done by the Constitutional Revision Commission. Most delegates seemed to agree with Rep. Ray Hutchison of Dallas, the Republican mover and shaker, that the C.R.C.’s proposed version of a new constitution needs just 10 or 12 changes to be letter-perfect. Trouble is, no delegate’s 10 The Texas Observer Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 465-6577 Argh, said the lady newspaper publisher when she saw our latest number. Learn the fascinating, quaint, sordid details for yourself for a mere S7.50 a year. sendable to Post Office Box 52691, Houston 77052, from whence cometh that bad-ass list of 10 or 12 ‘pears to agree with any other delegate’s list of 10 or 12. Now you take a solid lib like Rep. Buddy Temple of Diboll: if he could just get initiative, referendum and recall added to the thing, he’d vote for it in a New York minute. Conversely, you take a man like Rep. Fred Agnich of Dallas, Republican House leader all he wants is a right-to-work clause inserted in the constitution. Rep. Sarah Weddington of Austin, who argued the decisive abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court, would sour on the new constitution if the right-to-life people tampered with it, whereas Rep. Billy Williamson of Tyler reportedly plans to introduce, as a complete substitute for the eight months of work done by the C.R.C., the Texas constitution of 1845. The major special interest fight almost everyone sees coming is right-to-work. The Republicans are pushing it, most notably Hutchison, who is quick to note that the measure will have bi-partisan sponsors. The National Right to Work Committee, a right-wing group which is, according to the AFL-CIO’s president, Harry Hubbard, funded by every stripe of reactionary money, has been spreading material. The Texas Manfacturers Association and innumerable Chambers of Commerce have been active in the cause. The right-to-workers won a key victory straight out of the box, although the decision was dictated as much by good sense as anything else. The question was in what form the proposed new constitution will be submitted to the voters. Most sensible folks agree that the best plan is to stick the basic reforms in one package and let the voters decide on that in one package, while separating out any changes controversial enough to defeat the whole package. The trouble with letting right-to-work stand by itself is that it sounds so appealing. The AFL-CIO will have to wage an enormous educational program if the thing gets past the convention. Other special interest battles can be listed ad infinitum, but among the more interesting will be a feminist effort to rid the constitution of its flat prohibition against garnishment of wages. Being anti-garnishment is usually thought of as a progressive stand, but Sarah Weddington wants limited right of garnishment up to 25 percent of the wages of divorced fathers who are failing to meet court-ordered child support payments. The AFL-CIO is opposed, on the old don’t-let-the-head-of -the-camel-into-the-tent argument. PRICE DANIEL, JR., said at the end of the second week that he was vastly pleased with the way things were going. He scraped through his own election as president without challenge, although the inimitable Billy Williamson, after hearing PDJ’s record praised to the skies, rose to say, “If no one else is going to be nominated, I think I’ll nominate myself so I can talk about some of the things I didn’t do. Like, I didn’t take $500 for representing Artesia Hall.” At this unseemly reminder of one of PDJ’s less seemly legal clients, the delegates sucked in their guts in collective horror. Actually, Williamson is simply the most notable cockroach at the convention there are many others. \(Cockroaches being those who attempt to cockroach, i.e., scuttle, all change, especially progressive change, out of their pure Attila-the-Hun Though the cockroaches are a distinct minority, they could align themselves with special interest groups and do serious damage. They joined Republicans, anti-Danielites and small-d democrats to give Daniel his only serious challenge during the rules fight. The proposal was to allow the convention committees to elect their own chairmen and vice-chairmen, a measure long-advocated by liberals such as Sen. Oscar Mauzy. The proposal would obviously have stripped Daniel of clout, which pleased all those who are still teed off with him for all that “ree-form” he tried to force .down their throats last session. It all started when the rumor got around that Daniel was considering appointing a black chairman, specifically, Rep. Craig Washington of Houston as chairman of the committee on local government. Ray Hutchison, very upset, came in to see Daniel. Hutchison said he was interested in the committee on local government and, his own ambition to be chairman aside, Washington simply would not do the redneck county commissioners and city officials would never be able to deal with him. “He didn’t advance one argument against Washington that didn’t have to do with the color of the man’s skin,” said Daniel. When persuasion failed, Hutchison came up to Daniel during the rules fight and told him he would introduce the amendment to strip Daniel of his power to name the chairmen unless Daniel pledged not to name Washington chairman of the committee on local government. Daniel said his troops were not well-organized at that moment and that if he’d had another half-hour to work the floor, the vote wouldn’t have been so close. But Hutchison had a great gimmick. He went around reminding House members that Daniel had publicly pledged to give the senators a fair shake perhaps even half the committee chairmanships. If the committees elected their own chairmen, Hutchison pointed out, House members would stand a much better chance of getting the plums since there would be more House members than senators on every committee. In truth, given another half-hour, Hutchison might have won. But he lost 98-79 and Daniel, who was a little hot about the matter, promptly appointed Craig Washington chairman of the committee on local government. M.I.